EPE is able to utilise publicly quoted special purpose acquisition companies (“SPACs”) to acquire and grow assets. SPACs are purposely established and capitalised to acquire a platform asset in a particular sector, which is then developed publicly through a combination of organic and M&A activity.
EPE’s approach to SPACs is based upon a partnership formed of EPE as private equity sponsor and an executive and non-executive team with outstanding credentials in the chosen sector. EPE will consider SPACs in its four core sectors of interest: financial services, manufacturing & light engineering, consumer & retail and services.
The intention is to create access for small and mid-cap public markets investors to assets and a strategy not otherwise readily available on the market. SPACs are also designed to create a potential exit for investors via a trade sale or take-private within a defined period (targeting five years) which is a feature no longer readily available in today’s public markets.
EPE has 16 years of combined private equity and public markets experience and has established five publicly quoted vehicles to date across its four sectors:
- Financial Services: EPIC plc (2001), a multi-asset fund with a large growth and buyout private equity allocation and ESO plc (2003), focussed entirely on private equity investments.
- Manufacturing & Light Engineering: Luceco plc (2016), manufacturer of wiring accessories and LED lighting. EPE originally invested in Luceco plc in 2005 and floated the company on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange in October 2016 with ESO plc retaining 24.3%.
- Consumer & Retail: EPIC Brand Investments plc (2002), which was EPE’s first SPAC and was established to acquire orphan home and personal care brands from large, multinational FMCG companies.
- Services / Property: EPIC Student Accommodation plc (2002), a quoted provider of student accommodation.